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LGAs in Akwa Ibom Can Survive Without Joint Account – NULGE insists 

LGAs in Akwa Ibom Can Survive Without Joint Account – NULGE insists 

Leadership of NULGE, Akwa Ibom State.

…Says State Government must Clear Workers Entitlements before Implementation of LG Autonomy 

By Ekemini Simon

The Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Akwa Ibom State Chapter has said that the 31 Local Government Areas in Akwa Ibom State can survive without Joint Account with the State Government.

Joint Account has been a topical issue in Akwa Ibom State with many positing that Joint Account has shortchanged allocations that should get to local government areas for development.

Analysis by TheMail newspaper on the November 2021 Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) disbursement of N5.09bn to 31 local government areas of Akwa Ibom State shows that at least each local government area would get N164.45 million.

Briefing newsmen on Thursday, September 8, 2022, after emergency meeting of the State Executive Council of NULGE as directed by the National Leadership, the President of NULGE, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Comrade Anestina Iweh said the local Government councils in Akwa Ibom State will survive without sharings by Joint Accounts Allocation Committee just as the State Government is surviving without Joint Accounts with the Federal Government.

President of NULGE, Akwa Ibom State Chapter, Comrade Anestina Iweh briefing the press.

While noting that the size of the monthly revenue that accrues from the Federation Account to the local government councils give credence to her stance, the NULGE President stated that the State is also bound to assist the local government councils financially during times of financial distress.

“Any time the State Government is in trouble financially, the federal government always gives a bailout. When there is a need for the local government to be bailed out, we will request the State to bail us out. On autonomy we stand.

“The SEC-in-session can make bold to say that there is nothing joint in the said Joint Account because the State has never for once brought their own part of the bargain to the table for sharing, instead the little that accrues to the Local Government Councils from the Federation Account were shared to the State and later diverted.”

The President who insisted that when the 774 Local Governments in Nigeria are developed, Nigeria become developed explained that as at today,  Nigeria is in the debacle and bedeviled with insecurity and underdevelopment because over the years “State Governors have chosen to usurp and emasculate Local Government financial strength through obnoxious, notorious and fraudulent State-Local Government Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC).”

Iweh called on the State Government to clear all outstanding entitlements to local government workers thus help the local government councils to start on a clean slate when implementation of local government autonomy commences.

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The President thanked the National Assembly, the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly and Governor Udom Emmanuel for giving nod to the Local Government Autonomy Bill which was considered recently in the 1999 Constitution amendment.

She added “The SEC-in-session, therefore, use this medium to appreciate the National Assembly for their efforts in actualizing this all important and people-centric piece of legislation and further appreciate and commend the Governors and State Houses of Assembly of Abia, Anambra, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Enugu, Edo, Ogun, Osun, Kastina and Kogi States for passing into law the Local Government Autonomy Bill and expressed utter dismay and displeasure at Ekiti and Lagos States for voting against Local Government Autonomy.

“The State Chapter also appreciates and commend our Governor His Excellency Mr. Udom Gabriel Emmanuel and Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly for doing justice and following the path of great and noble men for voting in favour of Local Government Autonomy. 

“SEC-in-Session, therefore, call on all the State Governors and their Houses of Assembly who has not passed the Autonomy Bill of Local Government to stand by the wish of the Nigerian people and use this opportunity created by the clamoring of Nigerians for Local Government Autonomy to set a legacy that will write their names on the sand of time. The struggle for Local Government Autonomy is not a demand for minimum wage but a demand for a better Nigeria.”

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